From the novel "The Young Diana: An Experiment of the Future, a Romance" by Marie Corelli.
Following some stage acting experience and other unrelated employment, Albert Capellani began directing films for Pathe in 1905. He advanced from turning out short comedies to spectacles, often based on literary classics. His 1912 version of Les Miserables ran 12 hours. Some critics disregarded the static and stagy qualities of the film and instead believed Capellani was contributing to a relatively new art form. He was invited to direct in the U.S., where he turned out several films between 1915 and 1922.
Capellani directed several American films, the most popular being the romantic drama, Camille (1915), Daybreak (1918), and The Virtuous Model (1919). However, the most daring and inventive of his American output was the 1922 melodrama, The Young Diana, in which Capellani co-directed with Robert C. Vignola. It was written by Luther Reed from a story by Marie Corelli and stared Marion Davies, Macklyn Arbuckle, Forrest Stanley, and Gypsy O'Brien.
Davies plays Diana May, who is in love with a sailor named Cleeve. Her Father wants her married into British nobility and a scientist looking for the fountain of youth falls in love with her. The scientist tricks her into thinking Cleeve has married, so she abandons her plans to wed him, only to discover 20 years later that it was a lie. She finds the scientist and he restores her youth but spurns the now married Cleeve. Diana wakes up; the proceeding has been a dream! She and Cleeve are married.
The greatest aspect of The Young Diana is the sets by Joseph Urban. They are not only lush and beautiful, but pioneering as well, especially the scenes in Doctor Demetrius' laboratory, which show striking similarities to when Rotwang makes his robot creation into a duplicate Maria in Fritz Lang's Metropolis (1927) and the wild and wooly creation sequence of The Bride in James Whales Bride of Frankenstein (1935).
The film was made in the wake of the success of A Blind Bargain and the interest in the Voronoff theories of prolonging life by transplanting animal glands into humans. Unfortunately, The Young Diana would mark the end of Capellani's career who would return to France in 1923 and retire from film after suffering from paralysis.
11 of 12 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?